By R. Alan Richardson
Teachers are doing some very special things during our troubled times. We all need to be appreciative of their extra efforts. Being a teacher has never been easy. We should all be thankful in these days for the advancements in technology that allow our children to use social media and other avenues to continue their education. What would we have done 30 or 40 years ago in a crisis like this? It’s for sure the American people are a resilient group. We will come out on the other end of this better for what we’ve learned and been through.
There’s no better example of a teacher and football/track coach going the extra mile than Coach James(Jim) Ignoffo during this time of concern.
Ignoffo played and coached football at Cumberland College where he still holds the single season sacks record. He was a utility player as well that got considerable time at defensive back, linebacker, as well as defensive line as a player-coach.
Ignoffo is in his eighth year as a math teacher at MCHS since 2012. He said, “I’d been volunteering with the track team for some time when former head track coach Aubrey Fortson asked me to come on board full time last season.” He has taught a college readiness course for the past few years for students that might be lacking in math skills needed to attend college. That class morphed into much more. He was helping students fill out college applications and dealing with possible scholarships that were available. He is now helping track, football, and other students to get through the process. At this point he has helped procure scholarship opportunities for a number of athletes.
Head girls’ track Coach Patrick Kicklighter said, “Just wanted to highlight assistant coach James Ignoffo and our athletes during this time. During this wild time Coach Ignoffo is hitting the phones with our seniors. He is always there for our athletes. Its amazing how our program has a variety of coaches for the right job. During this dead part of the season he has been on the horn with college coaches. He has procured scholarships for three of our athletes. He’s even working with those and other seniors to help them get paper work done. The seniors that have been offered scholarships are: Taylor Wilson, Juwon Moore, and Tiana Adams. Whether they take these offers or not… it is so awesome how Ignoffo is utilizing this time for our athletes. Thankful for him.
“We delivered senior signs to all the seniors this week. It was horrible. Some were just finding out that school and track had been canceled. A lot of tears were shed that day,” said Ignoffo.
To this point, the jumpers and hurdlers coach has helped secure a number of track offers for his athletes. In that group are Taylor Wilson, Tamia Benford, Caleb Williams, Juwan Moore, Seth Robertson, and Tiana Adams. He also mentioned underclassmen Corey Chatham, and Tiana Wade as possible scholarship winners in the future.”I would also like to implore our community to help us find some much-needed work and improvements on our current track facility. We are unable to host any meets here due to safety and other concerns. Right now we are serving around 75 MCHS athletes and about 100 MCMS track runners. The complex is heavily used by others that come to walk and run. Track is a relatively cheap sport to be involved in. We would like to see many more kids get involved in this great sport, but we can’t do that without some community support and help. Thank you,” commented Ignoffo.
Jim is married to his wife Lori of 15 years.
They have six children and are foster parents as well to two of those children.